Penn Parents Express Further Concerns Over Lia Thomas Competing On Women’s Team

lia-thomas, transgender, penn swimming, ncaa

Penn Parents Express Further Concerns Over Lia Thomas Competing On Women’s Team

The controversy surrounding Penn transgender swimmer Lia Thomas has been brought to national attention during the past two weeks as the debate rages on about the playing field being level in women’s swimming. Thomas, a transgender swimmer who has followed the rules set forth by the NCAA on this matter, has put together some of the top college times in the country two years after competing for the Penn men’s swim team.

The major reaction to Thomas’ speed in the water has been focused on records being in jeopardy and the validity of any record she might break, and whether or not Thomas competing is fair to female swimmers who were born female. Thomas competing in women’s races just a few years after transitioning has led to controversy, and there have been numerous opinions about whether she should be allowed in women’s races. She has undergone required hormone therapy, but many believe that since she underwent male puberty, she has inherent advantages over her female competitors.

But there are plenty of other issues at stake that parents of Penn swimmers have discussed and written about. They, like many upset by the issue, are trying not to take their frustrations out on Thomas, but are taking their frustrations to the NCAA to change the rules after Thomas’ situation is revealing an uneven playing field in many people’s eyes.

One issue emphasized by the Penn parents is travel team participation. Thomas is one of 26 swimmers that can travel to NCAA away meets. Her participation means that one female-born swimmer will not get to travel and compete at each away meet.

Then there is the issue of relay participation. Thomas is the fastest swimmer on the team and would likely be chosen for most, if not all, of the Penn relays at the Ivy League Championships and any relay that qualifies for the NCAA Championships. That means other swimmers on her team won’t swim at the NCAA Championships.

A Penn parent wishing to remain anonymous shared their thoughts on these matters:

The debate has been focused on Lia’s competitive advantage, as it relates to her being able to attain immortality status in the “women’s sports” category; metrics like wins, records, and rankings.  Fair competition is obviously a major concern.  But what no one is talking about are some of the wider effects of Lia’s place on the women’s team.  University of Pennsylvania’s women’s team has 40 swimmers. Lia is taking one of the roster spots from a biological female. This year, a woman was left behind on the Zippy Invitational trip who otherwise would’ve been able to experience competing for her team.  At that meet, Lia swam on five relays, taking a spot from a biological female on each. Lia’s performances aren’t just about her place in history, her participation means another woman does not get the opportunity; it is a zero-sum game.  

In February, when the team will compete at Ivy League Championships, each school can send a maximum of 18 swimmers. A biological woman, who has been swimming competitively since a very young age, training hard, and dreaming that someday she might be able to represent a great D1 school at a conference championship, will miss out on that opportunity. Now that Lia is on the team, that girl who would’ve earned the 18th spot isn’t 18th and she has to stay home.  

These are just a few of the ways transgender women are taking the opportunities that were created for biological women.

These ripple effects and the impact on any one biological woman won’t be covered by Swimming World, but will have a big impact on these women’s futures; impacts that are sure to increase as more transgender athletes are allowed to compete on teams with biological women without mitigating their male-puberty advantage, like athletic scholarships and being one-of-40 team members. Title IX was supposed to ensure women have the same opportunities as men; and without proper rules governing the “women’s” category, perhaps we should have one swimming team, and see who makes it. In that scenario, my daughter wouldn’t make it, and I’m betting yours wouldn’t either. The conclusion is undeniable; the inclusion of trans women with biological women leads to exclusion and loss of opportunities for biological women.

Penn parents have been active about this issue as a group. They wrote an open letter to the NCAA, the Ivy League and Penn officials, looking for answers.

Answers could include changing the rules to mandate more than one year of gender transitioning, or creating a third gender group for college swimming, and a number of other possibilities. Of course, the NCAA could also do nothing, citing Lia Thomas following of the rules.

“At stake here is the integrity of women’s sports,” the letter said, according to DailyMail.com. “The precedent being set — one in which women do not have a protected and equitable space to compete — is a direct threat to female athletes in every sport. What are the boundaries? How is this in line with the NCAA’s commitment to providing a fair environment for student-athletes?
‘It is the responsibility of the NCAA to address the matter with an official statement. As the governing body, it is unfair and irresponsible to leave the onus on Lia, Lia’s teammates, Lia’s coaches, UPenn athletics and the Ivy League.”

The university sent a terse response to the parents, claiming the school is doing what it can to help the student-athletes navigate Thomas’ success, shared a link to mental health services.

“Please know that we fully support all our swimming student-athletes and want to help our community navigate Lia’s success in the pool this winter,” the university said in its reply, according to DailyMail.com. “Penn Athletics is committed to being a welcoming and inclusive environment for all our student-athletes, coaches and staff and we hold true to that commitment today and in the future.”

79 Comments
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L
4 months ago

So: if you’re upset that a man takes your spot in the women’s team, you obviously are the mentally unstable one.
Got it.

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Anonymous
4 months ago
Reply to  L

Not mentally unstable, just pissed off that a guy can play girl and set such a piss poor example for others. This freak show needs to end

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Anya
4 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

How come you post anonymous, since you have such strong Opinion please state your name.

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Nathan
4 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Nathan

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Betty
3 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

100% HE has a PENIS!! Lol soooo HE IS A MAN! And ps- can never give birth.. MAN! Bye guy!!

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Michael
4 months ago
Reply to  L

That will not fly in the olympics.

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Pam Caillou
4 months ago
Reply to  Michael

It has aleady flown. See Laurel Hubbard.

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Ms. Leonora
4 months ago
Reply to  Michael

If you’re having a good day so far, don’t look at the most recent changes to the Intl Olympic Committee rules.

Whatever you’re thinking, the new rules are worse.

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Veritas
4 months ago
Reply to  L

The USSR used to send political dissidents to psychiatric hospitals for “treatments.” That Penn, which is one of the premier universities in the country, is following the lead of the USSR really does not bode well for the future.

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Michael
4 months ago
Reply to  L

The dude is a guy competing against girls, regardless of what he is from the shoulders up he still a biological man that has a penis, go start your own league leave the girls alone

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Schatzi
4 months ago
Reply to  Michael

Precisely.

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Hedda Lettis
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael

AMEN Michael! I won’t go into the records; I did that at length on another site. Suffice to say, he simply couldn’t cut it on the men’s team. He wasn’t terrible but, with 1 exception against Villanova in 1 event, he, WilThomas, was a second-place finisher… CONSISTENTLY!! Not even good enough to make it to the NCAA finals. And now suddenly, magically he’s breaking women’s records?? Excuse me but, GTFOH!
This should not be tolerated at all. I’m absolutely shocked at U of P! 😳 Time to start boycotting; take away a lot of those Alumni dollars and maybe that will get their attention!

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Michael
4 months ago
Reply to  L

The dude is a guy competing against girls, regardless of what he is from the shoulders up he still a biological man that has a penis, go start your own league leave the girls alone, he’s a very selfish person that doesn’t care about anything except himself, dude wake up you’re not a girl

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asc
3 months ago
Reply to  L

Food sources that are genetically modified are openly vilified and that perspective is lauded, why is it not the same for individual humans who demand recognition for modifying theirs?

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lg
3 months ago
Reply to  L

you are what is wrong with society

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KRW
4 months ago

This is a slap in the face of all those women who fought so hard for Title IX. This person clearly has a physiological advantage over natural born females. Imagine the mindset of a person who actually competes for almost 2 decades, then decides to transition with a yr of eligibility left, and destroy’s the natural born females, and celebrates doing so. Narcissistic to Nth degree and then some.

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Anonymous
4 months ago
Reply to  KRW

Obviously this topic is going to get as heated as the pools in the coming years

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Anonymous
4 months ago

Sad. Terribly sad………….All records need to be put on hold until a fair solution found.
As I heard on Aussie Sky news (At first I was shocked at the “crudeness” )……… but possibly the only way around this stupidity, to move forward.
Renaming of the “previously known gender of Woman” to “Menstrators” or “Body Birthers”. “God” chosen XX bodies need these female attributes.
Olypmics – Men, Woman, and Menstraters. (and we cannot laugh)
No matter how much an XY “identifies” as a woman ………. he cannot physically achieve the above….. just as XX cannot physically “identify” with genuine testes and testerone.
Wokeness is turning our world crude.

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Michael
4 months ago

This is the most asinine thing I have ever seen. Dose he still have a penis. Let them have there own league. other wise it’s just not fair. This transgender thing is a joke. Let me see one, just one have a baby. My name is Michael Croghan and yes I have a right to voice my opinion. Last time I checked it’s still is America.

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Ali
4 months ago

Is there a petition or something to sign. This is destroying women’s sports

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Veritas
4 months ago
Reply to  Ali

Some states have banned boys that have transitioned to girls from competing in high school sports, which states generally control. You can talk with your state legislators about that.

You can find out what your local school board is doing with this and the related issue of bathroom and locker room policies. If you don’t like what they are doing, you could even run for school board the next election cycle.

Changing federal law is much harder, but you should ask your Senators and Congressional representative what their views are on this issue.

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Tim
3 months ago
Reply to  Veritas

We already saw how well letting a skirt-wearing boy into a girls bathroom worked out in Loudoun county.

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Patrick
4 months ago
Reply to  Ali

The petition timing is at every election, make sure you know who you’re voting for and what they believe in for that will indicate their behaviors on important issues.

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Charles
4 months ago

The solution is simple: no more men’s swimming, no more woman’s swimming… just swimming. The fastest swimmers make the team. Reset the record books, trimmer team budgets, and shorter meets. No more gender wars. All genders welcome. All humans welcome. Just get in the pool and show us your best times.

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lipsy
4 months ago
Reply to  Charles

Tell me you’ve never thought about why there’s a women’s category in the first place without telling me you’ve never thought about why there’s a women’s category in the first place

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Veritas
4 months ago
Reply to  lipsy

I think the comment is meant as satire.

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Martin Brady
1 month ago
Reply to  Veritas

Not so sure.

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Molly
4 months ago
Reply to  Charles

Yes, that would certainly solve the “problem” of natal women being able to participate in competitive sports at all.

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Billie Ansley
4 months ago
Reply to  Charles

You are trying to be funny, right?

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Sweemer
4 months ago

If she were a biological woman swimming this fast it wouldn’t be about “taking a woman’s spot” it would be about a phenomenal athlete who is very talented. Just accept people for who they are.

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Barbie Turate
4 months ago
Reply to  Sweemer

Because “she’s” NOT a biological woman. That’s kinda the whole point lol. Way to miss it.

Sex > gender & this guy is a cheat.

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Donald Dupuis
4 months ago
Reply to  Barbie Turate

IF YOU HAVE A DICK YOUR NOT A CHICK

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Anonymous
4 months ago
Reply to  Sweemer

He’s a biological man

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Julia Rose
4 months ago
Reply to  Sweemer

It’s isn’t about lovely Lia. It’s about opportunity for cis women. This is a complicated issue and just allowing this is terribly unfair to cis women. Forcing Lia out or to compete with men would be similarly unfair. Inclusion is very important and title IX was created to ensure that cis women have a place to compete. Lia’s inclusion shouldn’t come at the cost of others opportunities. As it stands now they are. We need to get comfortable coming to a compromise and discussion with dignity for BOTH sides. (The third side that treats trans folks like dirt need not be included) Whatever that may be in order to ensure comfort and fairness for all women irrespective of their identities, trans or cis. It’s an extremely complex issue and just letting trans women play with cis women is ridiculously lazy and harmful. We have to have the tough conversations. We need to have them with respect, honesty and dignity.

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Doc
1 month ago
Reply to  Julia Rose

What she ^ said.
And sorry for the typos above.

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Martin Brady
1 month ago
Reply to  Julia Rose

It wasn’t unfair when “Lia” competed with men. He IS a man, and he competed fairly against other men, and he was ranked in the top 400 or so. Not elite, but competitive. Now he’s breaking the women’s records. It doesn’t take much to see how unjust that is. Yet the silence of women leaders is deafening.

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Chuck Hay
4 months ago

If you want to END Women’s swimming this is the best and quickest way to do. There is no way this should be allowed. Not one women’s Record should be broken by a Trans swimmer. It can not be denied that a male transitioned to a female is still a physical male. Add a third division Male, Female and ???? I swam in college, coached for another 20 plus years and this is the worst thing I have seen. Makes me sick.

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A. Non
4 months ago
Reply to  Chuck Hay

Don’t need a third category if categories are defined based on sex rather than gender. Two categories would be open (anyone can swim) and female sex. Lia Thomas is not female sex so she would swim in the open category. Problem solved.

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Hedda Lettis
3 months ago
Reply to  Chuck Hay

Yay! Chuck! Former collegiate athlete here also; different sport. Should not be allowed at all!

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Charles
4 months ago

Veritas is clever.

Surely we can agree that an “all humans one team” approach is non discriminatory; and, we would all enjoy the absence of bickering about sex and gender.

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Satish
4 months ago
Reply to  Charles

Taking a physiological hormone supplement and/or a T blocker is doping.

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Meg
4 months ago

Every single female swimmer on every team should protest.

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Ricardo
3 months ago
Reply to  Meg

I agree , this is the only way to stop this madness.

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LE
4 months ago

You say Lia took a spot from another woman, but she also freed up a spot on the men’s team. Cuts both ways.

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Alex
4 months ago
Reply to  LE

Misogyny. Two men win

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Anonymous
4 months ago

Let me get this straight. All these athletes are on the women’s team and they all identify as women right?

Seems very fair to me, those other women just need to try harder.

The same solid science showing a cloth mask keeps out a virus is the same science used to prove all these women on this team are exactly the same.

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Mike
4 months ago

The Penn women could make a statement and refuse to swim in any events that he/she is in. You can’t win a meet with one swimmer. I know it is extreme but so is a Male swimming in womens events.

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Ricardo
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Yeah! This will never happen due to the fact that college campus’ all across America in every state, regardless of red state blue state are and have been for decades morrally bankrupt institutions. One of the greatest eye opening experiences in my life was spending five years on a college campus in a very conservative state, and one maxim reigned supreme, even more supreme than the auto spell check, justification, image and mob rule are the order of the day . In fact the most morally bankrupt people I met during my college years were the spawn of the so called pillars of the community from Uber conservative upbringing. Pretty much to Sum them up , on Sunday their declaring their devotion and moral high ground on the whole R.2.L., matter , however by Wednesday their lending their ride or die the cash she needs to delete a little inconvenience. “COLLEGE, making men into women and women outta men since 2004. Good luck out there .

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Anti-racist
4 months ago

Where were all you whiners when girls were taking spots from boys on football, soccer, basketball, etc teams? Bunch of hypocrites.

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Bump
4 months ago
Reply to  Anti-racist

I concur, women are always demanding equality, pay and representation. Put up or shut up. You got a slap in your faces. Deal with it or dont. You can’t have it all!

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SETH
4 months ago

Life isn’t fair, sports are part of life, and Ms. Thomas is a woman now. May the sport of swimming take the high road, and let this lesson in inclusion and diversity inform and improve the sport, and life, for everyone.

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Amur
4 months ago
Reply to  SETH

She is not a woman and he will never be a woman. He has a penis.

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Doc
1 month ago
Reply to  SETH

So those male hormone muscles just go away when you declare you are a woman? Nope. Sorry, try again. I’m all for LGBTQ rights. I’m a Burner. I hardly care what people do. BUT….this is a man that is competing against women, of course he is going to win.

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Martin Brady
1 month ago
Reply to  SETH

Whatever he/she is, it is housed in the body of a 6-3 male who has undergone puberty and has the physical strength and lung power of a full-grown 6-3 male, qualities not innately found in females. Never mind diversity and inclusion. What about equity??

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Joey Harris
4 months ago

Naw…. Thats a man baby!….. Doesn’t matter how many dresses he wears, he is and always will be a man! That damn pesky y chromosome!

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Carl Malone
4 months ago

My prediction: bShe will win a national championship and receive and give a victory bj.

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jmon
4 months ago

Stay woke mofo morons

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Ashes
4 months ago

Most of the people talking about this subject care little to nothing about women sports. Just want to spread hate.
This just in parents most team want to win, so if your kid was not the best one, they would have lost the spot anyways on the relay team, take that up with the coach stop running to the media everytime something does not go your way.

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Carla
4 months ago

Alot of bigots in the comment section. Trans woman are woman, simple as. If you against trans woman competing in sports, you are bigot and a transphobe. You have no reason to oppose, just blind. hatred. The other female athletes should train harder and smarter. Trans woman don’t have any advantage. That is anti-science. Trans woman are normal woman.

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Ms. Leonora
4 months ago
Reply to  Carla

What makes a woman a woman?

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EL DISGUSTADOR
3 months ago
Reply to  Ms. Leonora

A real man…Go figure…

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tex
4 months ago
Reply to  Carla

He is not a woman and it is absurd to say he is.

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Anonymous
4 months ago
Reply to  Carla

Actually you are wrong. There is very little science here – research has not been done looking at performance of trans vs biological female athletes.

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Jocelyn
3 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Your comment is willfully ignorant. I am a former D1 track athlete. The female 100M world record time is broken repeatedly on an annual basis by high school boys. To suggest someone is a bigot for raising concerns over the legitimate biological differences between men and women is not only self righteous and pompous, but asinine as well. Allow honest conversation in this space. And if you’re not willing to engage, go find a sport you’re gifted at, work your entire life to excel at it, and then compete against a biological male and come back to this comment section and tell us how you did.

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Doc
1 month ago
Reply to  Jocelyn

I like you ^ more already.

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Chuck
4 months ago
Reply to  Carla

What ? “”” trans woman don’t have any advantage. That is anti-science. Trans woman are normal woman.”””
Do you really believe that?? There is a reason most men sports that have a counter woman’s sports play against each other genders. The Women’s Olympic soccer team couldn’t even beat a U18 boys team from Texas. LOL.. Woman are better in many things that men aren’t, but most sports of using strength and brawn aren’t even close.

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Emily
4 months ago
Reply to  Carla

What makes a woman a biological woman? Xx chromosomes and having a uterus. A transgender human believes they were born into the wrong body, admitting that they own the body of the opposite sex. Identity and science are not to be confused no matter what people are told to say. Just because you say it doesn’t make it true. I am a person who embraces trans peoples IDENTITY and yet still I am aware of the SCIENTIFIC facts. It is uncharted territory to have these women in sports. Fairness is important. I’m not an athlete but it appears to be unfair especially because Lia is 1 person but in the future it could be the whole team. Bio men do have physical advantage.

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Me
4 months ago
Reply to  Carla

I’m no longer using the phrase transwomen. I’m just calling them fake women. Lia’s (his) teammates should shout “penis in the locker room” whenever he enters and offer him menstrual supplies. When he turns them down, they should say, “oh, I forgot….you don’t need these things.”

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Julia Rose
4 months ago
Reply to  Carla

This is why we will never be able to have a conversation about this with dignity for both side. I agree they are women but they are not cis and the more I hear from folks with your perspective the more and more I come to the conclusion the only fair option would be to have a cis women category.

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Jocelyn
3 months ago
Reply to  Carla

Your comment is willfully ignorant. I am a former D1 track athlete. The female 100M world record time is broken repeatedly on an annual basis by high school boys. To suggest someone is a bigot for raising concerns over the legitimate biological differences between men and women is not only self righteous and pompous, but asinine as well. Allow honest conversation in this space. And if you’re not willing to engage, go find a sport you’re gifted at, work your entire life to excel at it, and then compete against a biological male and come back to this comment section and tell us how you did.

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Doc
1 month ago
Reply to  Carla

Nope. Sorry. I’ll argue this til my fingers bleed.
Are you telling me that if The Rock decided to go Trans that he wouldn’t have an advantage in a woman’s sport? Get a clue. I’m not kidding. Just think about this for more than a PC second and you’ll figure out that I am NOT homopjobic, and that I don’t care what people do in the bedroom or if they want to wear a dress. I. Don’t. Care. BUT…this is a man that went through puberty and therefore has male pattern musculature. Again,I refer you to The Rock statement.

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Martin Brady
1 month ago
Reply to  Carla

Go study some human physiology, Carla.

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Jim
3 months ago

How about all the legitimate female swimmers just refuse to swim and by all I mean ALL.
What will they be left with
A guy dressed like a woman swimming all alone in the pool
Just boycott all events until they correct it.

It is absolutely 100% your right to dress and act however you want but we shouldn’t have to change basic rules such as biological male or female just to include people who want to be something else in their mind.

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Anonymous
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

The whole thing is sickening. It’s going to be a proud moment when Leah can tell her children and her grandchildren about all her accomplishments

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Doc
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

That’s ^ what I suggested also, and we all know it would work, that’s why the women in swimming aren’t doing it…they know they’ll just get stomped on and kicked out for not embracing someone that can beat them all day every day.

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John Webb
3 months ago

Insanity! My daughter is a D1 athlete, and she is great. Every human on the planet knows that in almost every area, men are stronger and faster than women, and that doesn’t change by taking female hormones for a couple of years.

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EL DISGUSTADOR
3 months ago

If you are a woman and you willingly compete in a female only team and are beaten by a HE/SHE, and time and time again you agree to compete against HE/SHE athletes, then either you are stupid to complain or are
so wedded to “fame” that you end up knowing you are a stupidly natural loser.Do you want to compete fair and win…?
Tell your coach you and all the women who feel like you will not participate in any competition that includes HE/SHE athletes. Period.
Compete with women only and the HE/SHE athletes of this world will soon enough be competing naturally with HE/SHE athletes like themselves; and they will like it. Do not be afraid to do so, try it…
Coaches who do not have the guts to do what is fair and just by their athletes, and are rather driven by money and by winning, and not by vocation, are undeserving of the title. Am I wrong?
Well, how many SHE/HE athletes do you see participating and winning in men’s only competitions…?
Go figure…

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Rachel
2 months ago

This person is a conservative plant, they’ll detransition after graduation and write a book. We’re being punked.

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Martin Brady
1 month ago

More leftist insanity. That the Penn administrators refuse to see the injustice being done to biological females just confirms that dangerous minds reside in education in America. This guy was a cipher in men’s swimming — now he’s breaking records in the women’s game. A travesty, a farce, and an insult to the women’s movement. What would Billie Jean King say?